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Title:Global fantasies and heartland realities: Making a global city in the Midwest
Author(s):Lee, Sang Sun
Director of Research:Harwood, Stacy A
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harwood, Stacy A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Miraftab, Faranak; Rana, Junaid; Wilson, David
Department / Program:Urban & Regional Planning
Discipline:Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Immigration, neoliberal multiculturalism
Abstract:In an era where globalization and its desires have a strong pull on many local economies, this research project examines how immigrant CBOs’ claim citizenship and establish belonging within the context of neoliberal multiculturalism. Indianapolis is a new destination for immigrants in the Midwest and during Mayor Greg Ballard’s terms (2008-2016) the city rebranded itself a “global city”. In this dissertation, I explore three main research questions: What role does globalization play in the rebranding of a city? How does this rebranding impact the conceptualization of citizenship for immigrant community-based organizations? And in what ways does this conceptualization empower or hinder the work of placemaking and belonging for community-based organizations in the city? Through an intersectional and qualitative approach, I examined the experiences of immigrant organizations, their interactions with the City of Indianapolis, as well as analyzed the rhetoric, policy, and practices of the local government with local immigrants and immigration. What emerged is a fantasy tied to the global economy and the power of multiculturalism in Indianapolis. Through an emphasis on the global economy in Indianapolis, a desirable neoliberal immigrant is constructed. This desirable immigrant has flexibility in both their global movement and their potential contribution to the global economy. Coming from nations with emerging or strong positions in the global economy, they are seen as potential tools for the city to leverage to increase Indianapolis’s global standing. Immigrant community-based organizations whose members are seen as less valuable within the context of the global economy reject the framework of belonging based on the economy. In a time of global obsession, they posit an alternative vision of immigrant incorporation that is based around community investment over commodification of their culture.
Issue Date:2020-12-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Sang Sun Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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